Wednesday, Mar. 1, 2017, is Spread the Word to End the Word, a student led campaign in which families, students, and organizations are spreading awareness about the harm, and dehumanizing effects of the R-word, “Retard(ed).”
“Our campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people,” r-word.org wrote.
The campaign started with Special Olympics athletes who were uncomfortable being called mentally retarded. In response, the Special Olympics International Board of Directors decided to update the terminology from “mental retardation” to “intellectual disabilities”.
March 31, 2009, was the first day for the campaign, “Spread the Word to End the Word.”
“A string of success, but far to go,” r-word.org wrote.
The goal is for communities and organizations to help create inclusion. Bettendorf High School Best Buddies will be encouraging students to take the pledge, and take action the week of March 1. You can take action by spreading awareness on social media, share your story on r-word.org, and approach others who use the R-word.